US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Federal charges filed against former Robeson County detective

News 14 Carolina, NC
Associated Press

LUMBERTON, N.C. -- A former Robeson County sheriff's detective already facing state charges that he kidnapped two Virginia men at gunpoint in 2004 now faces similar federal charges.

Patrick Ferguson, 34, has been charged with conspiracy kidnapping and using a firearm during an act of violence, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Raleigh. Ferguson, who worked in the Juvenile Division, and former Detective Vincent Sinclair were arrested on state charges in April that accused them of robbing several drug dealers.

The federal charges were the latest result of a three-year investigation into corruption within the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. At least seven former deputies and other law enforcement officers have been arrested.

The new federal court documents say Ferguson and an unnamed coconspirator drove to Virginia and kidnapped two men, one of whom was shot. The coconspirator was the shooter and hasn't been indicted, according to the documents filed July 24.

In a separate incident, Ferguson, Sinclair and four other people who weren't law enforcement officers allegedly staged a drug raid by posing as police officers in May 2004, according to court records.

The state and federal investigation has also resulted in the arrests of five men who worked for the sheriff's office's drug enforcement division.

Roger Taylor, C.T. Strickland and Steve Lovin were indicted in June on racketeering and theft charges for allegedly stealing money seized during drug operations. U.S. Attorney Frank Whitney has said the three were involved in numerous illegal acts between 1995 and 2004, while they were employed as Robeson County deputies.

Former deputies James O. Hunt and Kevin Meares have pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Hunt has been accused of stealing $160,000 during six traffic stops along Interstate 95, while Meares was accused of stealing more than $25,000.


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